Seafood exports down in Q1

Vietnam’s seafood exports are predicted to experience a year-on-year decrease of 13 percent to US$1.15 billion in the first quarter of this year.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said the country’s tra fish and shrimp exports haven’t seen any promising signs so far this year. 

By mid-January, the country earned only US$63.38 million from tra fish exports, a year-on-year drop of 20.7 percent. 

Due to a sharp reduction in exports to major markets such as the European Union (EU), the US, ASEAN, Mexico and Brazil, fluctuations in domestic prices and difficult access to capital by tra fish farmers, the nation is likely to earn only US$230-250 million from tra fish exports in the first quarter of the year. 

In the meantime, around 30 percent of the total 300 shrimp exporting enterprises that contributed 36-38 percent of the country’s seafood export value had to halt their operation for lack of capital to buy raw materials at an exorbitant price. The remaining businesses have been operating at half capacity. 

seafood exports down in q1 hinh 0

VASEP has forecast three scenarios for shrimp exports this year. The revenue will reach US$2.4 billion if the country properly solves the early mortality syndrome (EMS) in shrimps, the competition in buying raw materials, export market and the Ethoxyquin barrier. It will be US$2.2 billion if EMS and the Ethoxyquin barrier are solved, and US$1.9 billion if the two problems remain. 

Because of a likely reduction of 20-30 percent in shrimp output in the first quarter of the year, the application of the barrier on the acceptable level of Ethoxyquin content, an antioxydant, in Japan and the Republic of Korea and the US’s launch of anti-subsidy lawsuit against Vietnam. The country’s shrimp exports are estimated at US$360 million in the first three months of the year, a year-on-year decrease of 18-20 percent. 

Businesses forecast shrimp exports at just US$1.9 billion in revenue this year due to the outbreak of diseases since 2011. 

Meanwhile, Chairman of VASEP Shrimp Committee Ho Quoc Luc said he was not optimistic about the US$2.4 billion forecast, adding that it was difficult to predict as the cultivation depends largely on the weather. 

The export value will hover around US$1.9-2.1 billion if the unfavourable weather and diseases occur this year, he added. 

At present, he said, shrimp farmers need the Government’s support as the processing businesses do not have mortgages to borrow loans. 

On Feb. 15, the Hung Vuong and Go Dang Joint Stock Companies prepared their first batches of tra and clams worth US$2.5 million for export to Europe and the Middle East. 

Earlier, the Hung Vuong Company shipped 30 containers of tra fillets worth US$2 million to Europe and the Go Dang JC Company, 200 tonnes of tra fish and clams worth US$500,000 to China. 

General Director Nguyen Van Dao of the Go Dang JC company said tra fish consumption is growing not only in Europe and the Mid-East but also in Asia and America.

VNA/VOV online